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No Partiality with God
God did not love the Jews more than the Gentiles. The Jews considered themselves to be God’s chosen because of the special divine grace that had been bestowed on them in the giving of the Mosaic Law. Yet, in God’s heart, the chosen people were no greater than the Gentiles. The word of God tells us, “There is no partiality with God” (Romans 2:11). Thus, the Lord does not favor any nation over another.
The apostle Paul through the Holy Spirit told the Athenians that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth … That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:26-27). Therefore, every Christian should believe in the oneness of men—through creation and through salvation.
God and the Jews
God originally made His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 15:18-21; Genesis 17:1-8; 26:3; Genesis 28:13). His aim was that the house of Israel may be a tool to reach and save the Gentiles. And He told Moses that the purpose of revealing His mighty deeds to the chosen people was that “He might show His power, and that His name may be declared in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16).
Sadly, the people of Israel proved unfaithful, and accordingly lost the glorious calling that might have been theirs (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). Therefore, the Lord had no choice but to respect their freedom of will. And the Israelites received the curses of the Lord, “Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the LORD will send against you…” (Deuteronomy 28:47,48).
Then, God’s covenant was transferred to the Christians (Jews and Gentiles) who became spiritual Israel and heirs of His promises. Thus, God’s plan to save the world would no longer be dependent on the Jewish nation but on all who believe in His Son. The “kingdom of God” was taken from the Jews and was “given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:43). However, as individuals, the Israelites can be saved by accepting Christ (Romans 11:23, 24).
The Jewish probation ended, and they were destroyed as a nation by the Romans in 70 AD. It boggles the mind how a nation once so blessed by God, should fall so deep in sin as Israel did (1 Kings 9:7–9; Jeremiah 18:15–17; 19:8). Had Israel been loyal to God, people from all nations would have come to Jerusalem to worship the Creator.
God and the Gentiles in the Old Testament
Does God love the Gentiles? Yes! God showed Himself to all nations by great wonders done through His people. In this way, the greatest empires (Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Medo-Persian) had the opportunity to know God.
God did not stop there. He also, sent His prophets to them to encourage them to repent. Obadiah was sent to Edom (Obadiah 1:1), Nahum preached in Assyria (Nahum 1:1), Zephaniah prophesied to Canaan and Ethiopia (Zephaniah 2:5, 12), and Amos and Ezekiel delivered warnings to the Ammonites, the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, and the Edomites (Amos 1:3-2:3; Ezekiel 25:2; 27:2; 29:2; 35:2). Also, Jonah was sent to preach repentance to the inhabitants of Nineveh in Assyria (Jonah 1:2).
This way, God had adequately warned the nations of His will. Further, the Lord spread His truth to the world through godly individuals. For example, Ruth, a Moabites, was so impressed by her mother-in-law Naomi that she adopted the Jewish faith, and eventually became a progenitor of the Messiah (Ruth 1:16; Matthew 1:5).
And righteous individuals shared the truth with kings as in the case with Joseph and the Pharaoh (Genesis 41:38-39), Elijah and Naaman (2 Kings 5:15-17), Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3:29; 4:2-3), Daniel and Darius (Daniel 6:26), then Esther and Ahasuerus (Esther 8). These kings exercised authority over their empires and to some degree each established true worship among his people. Nebuchadnezzar and Darius even issued specific decrees declaring the God of Israel as the One true God (Daniel 4:1-18; 6:25-27).
God and the Gentiles in the New Testament
Before Christ’s crucifixion, the Roman centurion showed great faith in the Son of God. So, Jesus Christ said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:10-12). Here, we can see that the gathering of the Gentile nations was the goal of the gospel.
After the Pentecost, the Lord showed Peter a vision of clean and unclean animals which was let down from heaven in a sheet. These animals represented a general mixing of creatures, among which none was to be called common, or unclean. In interpreting the vision, although it was given in the setting of physical hunger (Acts 10:10), the vision didn’t deal with food rather it dealt with people. It called the once unclean gentiles clean.
Having learned this lesson, Peter declared, “God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean” (Acts 10: 28). Gentiles ordinarily were considered unclean by the Jews. But the new light from heaven showed Peter that he should reach out for all people regardless of race.
The Gentiles were no longer to be considered unclean. “What God has cleansed you must not call common” (Acts 10:15). All men were to be reached with the gospel; ultimately, they would be unclean only when they reject God’s endeavors to save them.
In the following chapter (Acts 11), the believers criticized Peter for speaking with these Gentiles. So, Peter told them about his vision and its meaning. And Acts 11:18 says, “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”
Humanity had been redeemed by the incarnation, sacrifice, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, and even the lowest heathen was no longer common or unclean. God is willing to receive all men, and through Jesus He does so. Sin alone is that which separates men from Him (Isaiah 59:2).
Uncleanness is to be thought of as a moral, not a physical or racial issue. The follower of God must learn to see in every sinner the potentialities of a redeemed man. Every man must be respected as a child of God that can bear His image (1 Peter 2:17). Pride of class based on differences of culture is not excusable.
The good news is that God is not the God of the Jews only, but of all nations. The people of God today are from all around the world. They are those who choose to follow Him. The Lord worked through ancient Israel to bring about the fulfillment of His ultimate plan, the redemption of all men. He declared, “For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples” (Isaiah 56:7).
Had Israel been loyal to God, people from all nations would have come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord in holiness. The reflection of the divine character through Israel and His blessings upon them would have convinced the Gentiles of the superiority of the God of Israel.
But because of the sins of the Jews, God rejected them. And the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD (Jeremiah 7:11–15; Matthew 23:37, 38; 24:1, 2). The blessings that might have been theirs were transferred to the Gentiles. “The Gentiles shall come to your light” (Isaiah 60:3; Malachi 1:11; Acts 13:46, 47). In the providence of God, His covenant promises are to be fulfilled in the New Testament Church which consists of Jews and Gentiles that accept Christ as Savior.
For more, check the following link: How did ancient Israel lose their covenant with God?
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In His service,